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Original Forte - Veneer Species and Finishes


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As I'm refurbing a set of original Fortes, I've started looking closer at their finish.  One of the boxes had warping and separating veneer, so I started with it.

 

My first observation was that the veneer on the sides of this speaker was different than on the other.  Specifically, the veneer was in strips vs being a solid panel with a different grain.

 

Well, the reason for the detaching and strips was apparent when I started removing the veneer - a previous owner had put new veneer over top of the original, after using wood patch to fill in the many dings and dents each side had.

 

Unfortunately, the original veneer is not salvageable, and will have to come off.

 

Question I have is when I compare the veneers between the speakers, they look like they had different species and finishes of veneer.  The one I stripped has a light and tight vertical grain, and an orange tinted medium brown stain (maple is a color that comes to mind). 

 

The other speaker has a more complex, broader, contrasting grain, and is a cooler toned brown (light walnut would be my best description).

 

Does anyone know if there were different species used when veneering Fortes, and different stains?  I may only need to veneer the one speaker if I can get it to match the other (which I plan to strip and refinish).

 

I've included a picture of the speaker I am working on (ignore the dark top - a stain experiment), the one with fairly intact veneer, and the first one again after removing the veneer and cleaning off the glue.

OIP00002.jpg

OIP00003.jpg

OIP00004.jpg

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Thank you for the confirmation folks,

 

I have enough red oak already in the mail for both of them, with enough to veneer the homemade risers they came with.  Looks like that will be the way to go.

 

Unfortunately, neither has its serial number on it, and with only the one inspection label, they could be an unrelated pair.

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Just to tie a bow on this, I tried removing some of the walnut veneer from the first/third picture speaker.

 

Looks like I will need to veneer over top of the existing.  The walnut is so tightly bonded with the MDF underneath, and the MDF is so soft in composition, I'm not sure how I could remove it without causing damage or swelling to the MDF.

 

Mind you, I could always build new cabs, but then they wouldn't be Klipsch any more.

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For where I live, red oak was about the only easily accessible veneer - might be an Arkansas vs Canada thing.  

 

Once they are stained up (especially dark), I believe it is hard to tell the two apart, assuming similar grain.  This being stated, the rays in the wood are different, and I believe the red takes stain a little easier, meaning different sit times, or different numbers of coats.

 

I may also go with a solid color paint like Randy mentioned on the weekend.  Still not sure.

 

Regardless, veneer was in the mail today, and I'm curious to see it's grain pattern.  

 

Unfortunately, with the original veneer being adhered extremely well, I see no way to get it off without damaging the MDF on at least three sides of the speaker.  I am not super familiar with MDF from 1988, but what is here seems quite soft compared to modern MDF.

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Out of curiosity, I went to the garage to look at the date stamps on the drivers.

 

Lo and behold, the drivers all have the same date stamps between the two boxes - all were made in 1988, with each driver type made in the same week.

 

Makes me wonder if this was a mis-shipped pair, and a past owner covered the walnut one with oak.

 

Pretty sure I read that Klipsch destroyed any cabinet that didn't meet exacting standards.

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And now things make even more sense.

 

After putting some finish remover on the second speaker, I noticed the veneer was lifted in one spot.  A bit of work later, and it appears I have two walnut speakers.

 

Interesting part is the badly done speaker was done with raw edge glued veneer.  Second speaker was done with full sheet paper backed veneer.

 

Looks like we may have a pair.  Now I've gotta figure what to do with them.  Damage to the original veneer is severe enough, unless I really want a "distressed" look.

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